Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bon chic, bon genre

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Dress-BCBGMAXAZRIA, Jewellery- Valliyan, Shoes- Zara

Named after the french phrase bon chic, bon genre, a Parisian slang which means good style, good attitude, BCBGMAXAZRIA has finally opened it's doors to all, at the DLF Emporio Mall in New Delhi. Known for it's supreme quality, refined designs and versatile selections, it is bound to soon become a favourite with all. I was first introduced to the opulence of this brand during one of my expedition, where I accidentally stumbled across the store while scanning through a humongous mall. Immediately drawn to the display windows, I instantly knew that this could turn into an ever lasting love affair. Encapsulating the latest trends, their collections are always made up of versatile styles to suit one and all. The new Spring/Summer collection combines timeless elegance with nonchalant bohemian silhouettes. Abstract floral prints, pretty pastels, summer brights, fringe, tapestry, ethereal white lace and of course the bold black, you can find it all displayed across the store. 

I am a huge fan of dresses and when it comes to picking ensembles for a special occasion, I am ready to tire myself a tad bit more to make sure I find the perfect dress! BCBG is known for it's wide selection of dresses which excites me immensely as it literally makes my task so much easier. Be it a cocktail gown, a red carpet stunner, a date night special or even just a birthday dress, you will never fall short of options. For this post, I went with a classic black dress with a modern twist. The double strap details, the cut out at the waist and the blend of two different fabrics makes this more than just a simple black dress. No matter what, I think every girl needs to have that special, no brainer black dress that can be worn when you have nothing to wear and yet, you need to create an everlasting impression. It's the perfect canvas to play with some fun accessories and it's bound to make you look your best, given you choose the right style for yourself! I styled this one with some strappy black suede shoes and stunning jewellery from Valliyan. 

I am so jealous of all you Delhites who can literally walk into the store as and when you please, where as I will have to wait until my next visit to the capital. Don't forget to share pictures of your favourite pieces from the store on Twitter or Instagram! Hope you all are having a superb week, if not just visit BCBGMAXAZRIA for some damage control.

(Images by Jaina Kumar)


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Friday, April 10, 2015

FYI

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Tank- Koh Samui Market, Skirt- Uniqlo, Bag- Furla, Shoes- Zara, Cardigan- H&M, Sunglasses- Karen Walker, Watch- Savoy, Flash tattoos- Pipabella.com


These images are a result of a delayed flight and a mesmerizing airport! The Samui airport is probably one of the prettiest airports I've ever seen, so how could we miss the chance to snap some pictures? This is the outfit I wore on my way back from Thailand and because we had close to a 7 hour long journey, I chose a super comfortable look. Anyway, this post is really not about this outfit but it is in fact to answer some of your most asked queries regarding my hair, skin, makeup or even blogging! So I am dividing this into 3 sections and addressing the most common questions thrown at me within each category.

1) Hair
You guys are always so kind to me about my hair and frankly I would take all the credit but I'd be lying because I am really just blessed with some good hair genes! Thanks Mum & Dad. But here are the details of my hair care routine that maybe could help you.

- What shampoo and conditioner do you use? Suggest something for dry hair, dandruff or brittle hair.
I keep changing my shampoo and conditioner combination every two months so, there isn't just one , that I swear by. At the moment, I am using Bed Head's Urban anti+dotes Recovery range and its pretty amazing. I colour my hair every now and then so my hair does tend to lose shine and sometimes even looks dry but this combination takes care of that! They have a huge range of shampoos and conditioners so go ahead and pick one depending on your problem area. As for dandruff, I swear by The Body Shop's Ginger shampoo! I don't suffer from dandruff but I use it at least once in two weeks to keep it at bay.

- What is your hair colour? 
I started colouring my hair almost 2 years ago and it began by getting some golden brown highlights. It didn't necessarily turn out the way I would have wanted it to but I stuck with it and then went a shade deeper the next time over. So basically my point is, the colour that you see now is not just one particular shade but the result of the 2 year long process of colouring and recolouring. But if you are keen on achieving something similar to my current colour, I'd suggest you request for a dark brown base colour and golden brown high as well as low lights.

- What haircut do you have and where do you get it cut?
At the moment, I have a chest length, straight cut with side bangs. I had a long mane for almost 3 years and I was kind of done taking care of it. It would take me an hour to straighten it or curl it and 30 minutes to thoroughly wash them thrice a week! So I really just wanted a care free length and something that would be easier to manage. As for my haircuts, I tend to cut my hair twice or thrice a year and I am not at all finicky about it! Over the years, I have tried out the various Jean Claude Biguine salons across the city, BBlunt and even Juice.

- What styling products do you use? Do you use Moroccan oil?
On a daily basis, I literally just use the Mythic oil by L'oreal after washing my hair. I used to use the Moroccan oil but I realized that it was weighing my hair down too much so, I gave it up. It's a great treatment but I really just prefer the mythic oil. If I am going to use heat on my hair, I make sure to use a heat protectant. I use one by Tresemme but L'Oreal and Toni & Guy have some great ones too! I have been using my Philips Air Starightener very regularly since I cut my hair as it gives me the finish I want in less than 10 minutes! I have also started using the the After Party smoothing cream by Bed Head on days when my hair is just extremely dry and unruly. I avoid using too many products on a regular basis because frankly the more products you use, you're just putting your hair through that many chemicals! So be selective and don't go over board.


2) Skincare & Makeup
As a kid I was blessed with beautiful skin but as I got to my teenage years and in fact since I started using makeup, my skin has been going through the usual break outs, unevenness and scaring issues. I had a terrible reaction last year due to which I broke out all over. With the help of a few products and of course my dermatologist Radha Chowgle, I am getting closer to my normal skin!

- What is your skin care routine?
I start off my day by using a Clean & Clear face wash. I do have combination to oily skin so this prevents my skin from getting too oily during the day. I then follow it up with my Alpha-H Balancing moisturizer and then slather on some Avene High Protection face sunscreen. In the night, I cleanse my skin using the Alpha-H Triple action cleanser which literally is the best cleanser I have ever used! It get's rid of any makeup, even waterproof and cleanses your skin without making it dry! It's a gel cleanser so it works ideally for my type of skin. This has definitely been one of the key products that have helped me achieve clearer skin and my break outs have vanished! I also alternate between my Liquid Gold and the Avene D-Pigment light cream at night. Both of these products have helped immensely in getting ride of those stubborn blemish scars as well as the pigmentation due to previous sun damage. I may stop using the D-pigment once my scars have completely faded but the Alpha-H liquid gold is something I will definitely keep repurchasing!

- What is the Alpha-H Liquid Gold? Does it work?
It's basically a Glycolic acid based chemical exfoliant. Don't let the terms scare you because it's really not that complicated. You just have to pour some product on to a cotton pad and run it all over your face before you go to bed. It's a chemical exfoliant, so it will act as a scrub while you sleep, getting rid of dead, damaged skin. It's almost like an overnight facial that will leave you with brighter and revitalized skin. The difference it makes is so evident that you will notice a clear change in the texture of your skin in the morning after!

- What makeup do you use on a daily basis?
Lately, I have just been using my Bobbi Brown corrector in Peach and the creamy concealer in Warm Beige for my under eyes and the Mac Studio finish concealer to cover any spots on my face. I then line my eyes with a black gel liner and follow up with a voluminous mascara. I slather some of the Rosebud Salve on my lips and then occasionally follow up with a lipstick. The last thing I do, is fill in my eyebrows using either the Anastasia Brow Wiz or the Clinique eyebrow pencil. If I am heading for a meeting, I use my Bobbi Brown bronzer in Golden light to add more definition and a pale pink blush to brighten my face,

- What are your favourite lipsticks for everyday wear?
On a regular basis, I like using shades similar to my natural lip colour. So my favourites include Cosmo by MAC, Revlon's Matte balm in Sultry, Boudoir Baby by Estee Lauder and the matte velvet lip pencil in Dolce Vita by Nars.


3) Blogging & Miscellaneous
A lot of you email me your queries regarding starting a blog and all things related to it and frankly I don't think I am an expert at it at all! I just went through the trial and error method through the years to figure out what works best and even then there are times now, when I feel like I need to change my ways so it really is, your journey. Make mistakes because that's how you learn best but here are some things that maybe could help you form a better structure to follow if you want to start your own blog!

- What are the points to keep in mind to have a successful blog?
Start with good imagery as it creates an instant visual connect. When I started blogging, very few people in India were paying attention to the kind of images that went up on their blogs! Now of course, anyone and everyone has a dslr camera which is great because I see people putting in more efforts than ever! Maintain your content quality and be true to yourself while creating a niche. Make sure to have a simple, clean layout for your blog & get a website designer involved if you need to! Connect with your readers, be it through emails, comments or social media. The closer they feel to you, the more they'd want to come back for! Last but not the least, do it because you love it and not because of you want things, money or fame out of it.

- How do you deal with negativity?
It's natural to get demotivated by negative comments but the key thing is to realize that none of that matters. One of the cons of putting yourself out there on the blogosphere or anywhere on the internet is that anyone and everyone has access to your content so it's inevitable that they will form an opinion due to human nature. Some love your style and make sure to let you know, some hate it and make sure to let you know too! It's your choice whether to get affected by it or just to read such things, have a good laugh and move on with your day. And frankly I always take motivation from the negative comments and turn them into positive amendments!

- How did you get a huge following on your social media?
It takes time, like everything else. Just make sure to be active on your platforms and update on a regular basis. Also, try to be present on every platform that you can, notice the trends and work accordingly. Instagram, for example is huge right now so make sure to make the most of it! Use hash tags and put more effort in the images you put up on your account. But then again, social media following is not enough if these platforms are not driving traffic to your blog, unless, you're content with running just an Instagram account now!

- What are your favourite online shops?
In India, I love shopping from Jabong! They have really good deals most of the times and they even stock some of my favourite brands like River Island, which is hard to find anywhere else at the moment. I also enjoy getting a piece or two from Koovs, Stalkbuylove, Faballey or Perniaspopupshop! Besides these, some of my favourite International website would include Asos, Missguided, Nastgal and St.Frock for clothing and Shopbop & Lusiaviaroma for accessories! They all ship to India and customs are levied due the rules here in India. A good way to avoid it, is to get the stuff delivered to a friend or family member living in a country where they don't charge customs. Not the most practical option but if you are smart about it, you end up saving lots!


- What is your workout and diet routine?
I am not very stringent when it comes to what I eat! Your diet of course plays a major part in how your body looks but starving yourself is not the right way. Eat healthy, avoid carbs and replace it with protein. Try to keep a track on your processed sugar intake and drink lots of green tea! Working out on a regular basis is not only good to keep your body in check but it also helps to clear your mind and personally, it makes me a lot more active and happier! You don't necessarily have to go to a gym to work out, you could get involved in any cardio driven activities like running, dancing or swimming and combine it with a strength training activity like kickboxing! You could even just get some light weights and take some help from the online workouts videos on YouTube. Follow me on Twitter to know more on what kind of workouts I do!

Hope this answered a lot of your questions! If not, feel free to tweet your questions to me or leave a comment on my Instagram.


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Monday, April 6, 2015

Vintage Vibes

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Dress- Veromoda, Denim Vest- Veromoda, Shoes - Steve Madden, Watch- Guess, Belt- New Look, On my lips- Ririwoo by Mac

I first got a glimpse of Veromoda's Spring/Summer '15 collection at the press launch, back in January. There were way too many things that I instantly wanted to add to my summer wardrobe but I had to wait until it all hit the stores, which is why, I was super excited to visit their Khar store a few days ago! The collection is full of pastels, tons of denim not only in the form of jeans but vests, shirts and dresses accompanied by a ton of essential, fancy basics! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have already seen me wearing this stripped skirt & a lime yellow blazer from the new collection. Both of these pieces are so easy to style and can be worn in so many different ways, be it casual or dressed up. Another favourite of mine are these trousers in Navy and Army green. Not only are these colours a huge trend this season but they are the perfect basic pair of trousers that can be worn to work with a shirt tucked in or can be dressed up with a dressy top or even a blazer for the evening.

For this look, I decided to play with some vintage vibes. As soon as I spotted this navy polka dots dress at the store, I could imagine it being paired with a red lip for a date night or even with something more casual, like this denim vest and sneakers for a more laid back effect. A classic print and colour, this is a piece that will stay in your wardrobe for ages and you'll never get bored of it. I love layering, be it summer or winter but the heat makes it impossible to carry off a layer with ease in the summer, which is why, this denim vest is perfect! Layer it with your summer dresses, with a casual tee and a maxi skirt or even with simple cut off shorts. Mixing things up, I went for a semi casual appeal with this look. I took inspiration from the Spring 2015 Michael Kors show and looped a tan belt to add more definition. Keeping my accessories minimal, I chose to throw on my new Guess watch in a gorgeous blue hue and for that pop of colour, the classic red pout and red shoes played the part impeccably. 


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